Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Key Performance Indicators

KPI: Key Performance Indicator.   A metric identified as indicative of the performance of a business.

What are the Key Performance Indicators of our lives?

KPIs are even not that easy in business.  Some of them leap out, like "Revenue" and "Profitability".  Others are more subtle.  "Deviations" can tell you how a company's inner processes are performing; "Personnel turnover" can be a guide as to what kind of people are leaving and why they are leaving; "Failure Rates" can tell you not only how much you are failing in production, but potentially the root causes of those failures.

But what about the KPIs of our lives?

We tend not to think of life in this context.  Life is an organic process; business is business.

But life is also a process:  we're either moving forward or we're falling behind.  Too often I myself have never taken the time to actually measure my life against some metric.  I then occasionally freak out when I perceive things as having gone bad.  "Dear Lord, how did we get here?" I wail, as if all of a sudden this incident occurred.  It wasn't all of a sudden, of course; had I been monitoring things on a more regular scale with something to measure them against, I would have at least seen the trend.

But what would these look like for a life?  Here I'm a little less certain.  One could certainly use money as indicator with all of it's intricacies, and perhaps for some things that's a good one.  But it's hardly the only one.

  What is it that is indicative of how one's life is really going, whether forward or back?  Are they different for every person, or is there some kind of baseline that can be applied?

What is there can be measured about a life?

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